A sweet yeasted dough with a gooey butter topping.

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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a small mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

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  • Prepare a sweet dough by creaming 1/4 cup sugar with the shortening and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add 1 egg and beat with electric mixer one minute until well blended. Add 2 1/2 cups flour, the yeast mixture and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Mix three minutes with dough hook or with hands. Turn dough out on floured board and knead for one minute. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for one hour.

  • While dough is rising, prepare the Gooey Butter Topping: In a large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups sugar, 1 cup butter and a pinch of salt. Add 1 egg and the corn syrup. Mix enough to incorporate. Add 2 1/4 cups flour, 1/4 cup water and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix together well and set aside.

  • Divide dough into two pieces. Place each into a greased 9 inch round cake pan. Crimp edges halfway up sides of pans to keep the gooey butter topping from running out underneath. After dough is spread out, punch holes in dough with fork to keep it from bubbling when baking.

  • Divide Gooey Butter Topping into two equal parts. Spread over dough in each pan. Let cake stand for 20 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake cakes in preheated oven 30 minutes. Do not overbake; the topping should stay gooey. After cakes are cool, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Nutrition Facts

586 calories; 21.3 g total fat; 75 mg cholesterol; 203 mg sodium. 92.4 g carbohydrates; 6.8 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (12)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
08/08/2007
My father-in-law is from St. Louis and said it was wonderful! I almost used one of the other recipes with the cake mix and cream cheese. That would have been a disaster!!! I was told this recipe is just like the real thing from St. Louis!!! Read More
(17)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
03/10/2003
This is the same gooey butter topping from Richard Sax's cookbook but with a homemade crust. Surprisingly I really enjoyed the crust but not the goo so much! It was too sweet for my taste too gooey (when I cut the cake the goo oozed down the sides instead of remaining firm) and there was just too much goo for the amount of crust. I'll definitely use the crust recipe in the future but I'm still searching for the perfect goo. I suspect most bakeries here in St. Louis use a cream cheese variation. Read More
(13)
14 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
08/08/2007
My father-in-law is from St. Louis and said it was wonderful! I almost used one of the other recipes with the cake mix and cream cheese. That would have been a disaster!!! I was told this recipe is just like the real thing from St. Louis!!! Read More
(17)
Rating: 5 stars
08/08/2007
My father-in-law is from St. Louis and said it was wonderful! I almost used one of the other recipes with the cake mix and cream cheese. That would have been a disaster!!! I was told this recipe is just like the real thing from St. Louis!!! Read More
(17)
Rating: 3 stars
03/09/2003
This is the same gooey butter topping from Richard Sax's cookbook but with a homemade crust. Surprisingly I really enjoyed the crust but not the goo so much! It was too sweet for my taste too gooey (when I cut the cake the goo oozed down the sides instead of remaining firm) and there was just too much goo for the amount of crust. I'll definitely use the crust recipe in the future but I'm still searching for the perfect goo. I suspect most bakeries here in St. Louis use a cream cheese variation. Read More
(13)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/09/2003
I have been searching for this recipe for so long and am thrilled that I finally found the right one! Most of the recipes I've found are the ones with the cream cheese and cake mix but those can't hold a candle to this one. Read More
(12)
Rating: 5 stars
03/09/2003
I have been searching and searching for this recipe for a very long time. I was pleased to find the "original" recipe here with no shortcuts. It takes time but it well worth it! Read More
(12)
Rating: 3 stars
01/23/2009
If I could divide the rating into two I'd give the crust a 1 and the "goo" a 4. The crust is too doughy and not enough like cake; it's very dense and heavy. I also think the crust is too plain. I was born and raised in St.Louis and all of the gooey butter cakes that I've had had more of a cake feel and taste to the crust. The "goo" is very tasty but was way too runny. The crust made by the goo on the very top was excellent though. The "goo" definitely tasted like the gooey butter cakes I've had growing up but the one on this definitely needed to be less runny. Nice try but it needs some tweaking! Read More
(9)
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Rating: 3 stars
03/09/2003
We're on the right track here but anyone who enjoys the real butter cake recipe will find this one overcooked. Where is the "goo"? 18 minutes may be too long. It makes 2 large pans -- why not put in a 9 x 13" pan?? The recipe calls for one TBSP. of vanilla extract under ingredients but only 1 tsp. of vanilla in the text which one is it?? Not as expected for the amount of time and effort. Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
07/24/2011
I have lived my whole life in the St. Louis area and grew up near a metro east bakery that is famous for gooey butter cake. Cream cheese solidifies gooey butter cake's topping and gives it a cheesy danish taste. The end product of a gooey butter cake should be gooey running gooey and buttery in flavor. It is a messy but delicious result! This recipe is spot on for my favorite. Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
05/04/2008
This was very good! I've been hunting for a recipe similar to Sara Lee's Butter Coffee Cake (frozen) and first tried one of the Gooey Butter Cake recipes that used cake mix and cream cheese - NOT it! So I tried this one and it was dang close (minus having a streusel topping). Halved the recipe and used margarine for the shortening and butter - but changed nothing else. Yum! So much better than the cake mix/cream cheese recipes. Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
09/14/2013
My grandparents owned a bakery in St. Louis and this is the recipe my mom uses (and has been for decades) that's as close to theirs as she can find. Authentic St. Louis gooey butter does NOT use a cake mix OR cream cheese! And to those complaining that it is too gooey that's exactly how it's supposed to be--oozing and gooing all over the place not holding its shape. If it's firm then it is overcooked. This dessert is quite rich but oh so delicious! A family tradition for generations of our family. Read More
(4)